WALKING is good for your heart and for this couple, it also led to a walk down the aisle.
Tasmanian couple Beryl and Max Hodgetts are celebrating their sixth anniversary this year after meeting at a Heart Foundation Walking group on Valentine's Day.
Beryl had joined the walking group the month before Max showed up for his first stroll.
“We got to walking and talking and a relationship developed from there,” Mrs Hodgetts said.
The couple both joined to keep fit and socialise, and still enjoy the exercise and friendships made through walking in a group.
The Heart Foundation Walking is encouraging people to look after their heart this Valentine's Day and rediscover the joys of walking, whether it’s a romantic walk with a partner, a chance to catch up with friends, or a solo stroll to clear your head, relax and reflect.
National Heart Foundation Walking manager Michelle Wilson said regular walking is one of the best choices for Australians to reduce their risk of heart disease, but it’s not just your heart that will benefit from walking more.
“Just walking at a moderate pace for half an hour on most days of the week can lower your risk of heart attack and stroke by 35 per cent. It can also lower your risk of colon cancer by 30 per cent, and breast cancer by 20 per cent,” Ms Wilson said.
“Going for a walk does not only do wonders for your health, but lifts your spirits, improves your mood and reduces stress, anxiety and fatigue. Walking in a group connects us with others and with our community.”
Regular walking and exercise has also been shown to improve learning and memory skills that can decline as we age, and reduce the risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease by as much as 50 per cent.
“Whether you decide to walk as part of group or on your own, there are benefits to be gained, and they’re only two feet away.”
- To learn more about Heart Foundation Walking, to join a free, local walking group or to walk solo, visit walking.heartfoundation.org.au or call the Heart Foundation Helpline on 13 11 12.